My Favorite Jewels from the Couture Show

EditorsJul 01, 2019

My Favorite Jewels from the Couture Show

Fashion Editor Ashley Davis notes the styles that caught her eye at the jewelry trade show last month in Las Vegas.

Mizuki’s one-of-a-kind Baroque pearl earring was one of Fashion Editor Ashley Davis’ favorite jewels at the Couture show this year. (See the earring pictured on designer Mizuki Goltz below.)

At the 2019 edition of the Couture show I noticed several eye-catching trends—enamel at a fever pitch, a heart motif, and collarbone dusters rather than shoulder dusters, to name a few—that I’ll be writing about in the near future.

But there are always new pieces that defy explicit categorization, that are interesting progressions in designers’ stories.

So, while there were many new collections I’m inspired to cover in-depth, here’s a succinct glimpse of some standout jewels that have been on my mind the last month during that post-Vegas haze.

Colored diamonds received the Suzanne Kalan “Fireworks” treatment, with baguette diamond accents.

Each colored diamond is a different shade, providing dimension and interest at every angle. The collar itself rests at just the right spot on the neck.

Sylva & Cie specializes in one-of-a-kind pieces with exquisite, unique stones, but this Couture I was most enamored with a new style that’s a creative take on a ring stack: a ready-made wide gold band with attached diamond eternity. The rings are forever connected and effortlessly cool.

I’m hoping this style will become a regular in the collection.  

Lalaounis makes a great earring. The brand’s new, super-long drop was one of the styles that’s inspired me to write a collarbone-duster trend article (stay tuned).

But, this geometric chandelier was another of my favorites from the esteemed Greek jeweler. In person, its matte finish is radiant.

Pearl queen Mizuki Goltz creates special, one-of-a-kind pieces under the moniker Mizuki Privé. Each Couture, the designer seems to top herself with a Privé piece even more special than the year before.

Next year, I’m not sure it will be possible to beat 2019’s sword and Baroque pearl earring, but I can’t wait to watch Goltz try.

Polly Wales is another brand that breaks out the really extravagant and technically impressive one-of-a-kind pieces for the jewelry trade show, but nothing could have prepared me for what I saw this year.

Applying her cast-not-set stone-setting method to this twisted statement earring seems to defy all technical rules. It’s my favorite Wales piece I’ve seen yet.

In the 1990s, a lifetime before she worked in jewelry, Jennie Kwon was a big fan of a costume bamboo-style door knocker hoop earring.

At Couture, she showed the Jennie Kwon version: a delicate fine jewelry take on the classic that is the perfect everyday hoop and so much more

interesting than a standard round style.

The enamel trend has reached a fever pitch, with so many designers employing it in their creations in a variety of fun shades.

No one has made the technique feel quite as whimsical as Holly Dyment, who shows with Muse at Couture. Her new floral styles are particularly joyful.

Marlo Laz has really found its footing with designer Jesse Lazowski’s insouciant mix of medallions, exquisite gold beads, exciting colored gemstone combinations and personally designed typography.

She’s recently been showing some one-of-a-kind pieces as well. This Paraiba tourmaline cluster ring was a major standout; I envision it as one very lucky human’s engagement ring.

What a treat to see Christina Alexiou, a new Greek brand, for the first time in person at the Muse booth at Couture after admiring it on Instagram.

The designer’s warm, tactile heart pieces seemed particularly refined for a new designer, and that’s because Alexiou has been designing jewelry for herself for decades before launching her line. A particularly noteworthy piece was this ship earring with its incredibly intricate detail.

Vram Jewelry had a unique approach to its displays this year; it didn’t have any. Instead, a single window atop its case provided a portal into the brand’s exquisite oeuvre. The designer and team pulled out pieces one-by-one in a tray, letting the anticipation build.

The wait was worth it. Among the many new styles was a spiraling rose-cut diamond earring, interspersed with small colored gemstones. Reminiscent of a seashell, it was the largest departure from Vram’s existing styles.

Of all the hoop earrings on the market, Jade Trau may have made the best statement version available right now.

The Penelope combines two hoops of varying sizes in one earring, and they’re connected (naturally; this is Jade Trau we’re talking about) with three sweet diamonds.

Lito’s Lito Karakostanoglou revisited one of her favorite motifs this year, the scarab. While scarabs past featured real elaborately-colored beetle wings sourced from Thailand, the designer took a different approach for 2019, using carved gemstones like labradorite and chrysoprase.

My favorite piece was her labradorite cuff. It looked fit for an ancient Egyptian princess.

It would be easy to spend an entire day of Couture lost in the Jacquie Aiche booth, examining every new pendant, ring and body chain.

A new, exciting direction for the designer was her large, beaded necklaces crafted from juicy gemstones like the pictured chrysoprase. They add a beautiful contrast when layered with Aiche’s gold and diamond necklaces and body chains.

Couture’s emphasis is on women’s jewelry, as are Chris Davies’ designs. But I fell in love with the opal flower brooch he wore on his lapel, totally suitable on a woman but beautiful on a man as well.

I think it’s an indication of one direction jewelry is headed, in which the lines that divide men’s and women’s styles blur.

Aisha Baker Jewelry was an exciting new addition to the Design Atelier. Its two designers met at the esteemed Central Saint Martins in London.

They’re Dubai-based now, but their jewels would feel most at home with Alice in Wonderland. If Marie Antoinette and Pop Art had a baby, it would be something like Aisha Baker. Their enamel ribbon motif was particularly unique and unabashedly fun.

Buddha Mama knows how to pull off a theme and this year’s was “Peace and Love”—think an upscale flower-child vibe. The 1960s-esque look blends seamlessly with their brand of more-is-more, fun-loving camp.

These diamond and gold flower drop earrings were the most mouth-watering of the entire bunch, which included sweet enamel necklaces for layering and some jaw-dropping statement pendants.

Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.

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